There was this article that intrigued me a lot.
After reading the whole story I realised how easy it is to overlook past and easy to get carried away by recent success.
The article suggests the concluded summer to be the best Australia test team had. However I totally disagree.
My reasons are very basic and detailed.
1- This current South African test squad is not even a half of what they were few years back.
2- The West Indies test performance is fast sliding into oblivion. For some reason their performance is dropping after every series. Therefore the twin series win for Australia came against much weaker teams.
3- The Australian team of the 1999-2007, were Invisible or we can call them another name “The Avatar”. Their success were against top teams of that era. Teams like South Africa, England, India and Pakistan were among the strongest teams going around. However when they met Australia during that period, they hit by a brick wall!. They were beaten convincingly. A hammer was hit to them. They were not able to recover after their series loss.
4-This Invincible team had only 2 series loss and both series were the best test-series ever played. Interestingly after these defeats Australia raised their performance and did not have any setback.
Here I am explaining the above in stats.
This table below shows recently concluded home twin series v/s West Indies first and South Africa.
Season 2022-23- Australian SummerAt home Australia played twin series v/s West Indies and South Africa featuring 5 tests.
This is very impressive….but nothing close to what the Australian team had from 1999-2007! They are the Avatar of cricket.
From 1999-2000 season under Steve Waugh’s leadership and appointment of coach John Buchanan, Australia had phenomenal success, probably the best ever in sporting history!.
From Nov 1999 to Jan 2007 they played 28 test series (home/away) of which 15 series where whitewashed!!.
They won 24 series, lost only 2 and drew 2.
This success includes a magnificent record of 15 consecutive(16 successive) test wins!. A record that probably cannot be broken, similar to Sir Donald Bradman’s batting avg of 99.95
Before this era (1999-2007) Australia had reasonable success.
From Nov 1996 under new coach Geoff Marsh Australia had 47.50 % win rate.
Played 40, won 19, lost 12, drawn 9. Overall they played 12 series (1996-1999) winning 8, losing 3, drew 1.
However appointment of John made a huge difference for this Australian side. He challenged them to greater heights.
Since then what they achieved is considered to be one of the best in history of sport!. Their phenomenal record both in Test cricket and ODI cricket is testimony of champion cricketers.
Below is test series-wise success rate along with 3 indicators.
The above gfx clearly shows their domination over teams. The most interesting part of their legacy is how they dominated these teams. Unlike current scenario of handful of strong teams, back then test cricket had strong teams.
Teams like South Africa, Pakistan, England and India, they all had decent record, both home/away.
Now let us look result summary of coaches.
Australian coaches result summary from 1996
There is always argument that coaches don't make any difference in success of a team. Their contribution is either marginal or none!. The below table clearly reflects how their job as a coach led to Australia's success.
Table 1- Series result summary
Table 2 - Test match result summary
Australian captain's result summary from 1999
Here is a look at captain's success rate along with relevant information. The first table shows how they over powered their opponents with bat/bowl.
1- Batting big scores -1st inn /400+ scores.
2- 100+ overs - (1st/2nd inns).
3- Lead given and lead of 100+ given.
4-Bowling innings : conceding < 250 scores in first inns of a match.
5-Bowling inns- length of 1st innings , anything less than 100 overs.
Here is look at their success rate
Below we look at their domination over their opponents.
1- Margin of win by runs - >100 runs.
2- Margin of win by wickets : >8 wkts.
3- Margin of win by innings.
4- Margin of wins with day or more remaining.
As a test captain Pat Cummins has a very impressive record, but he still has long way to go!.